Friday, November 2, 2012

The Child The Fairies Sent Me

The homeschooling has been going so well that I was going to call and cancel Ryan's appointment with the pediatric specialist in December.

Fortunately, I never found the time.

I've spent the last six years wondering what was wrong with my daughter academically.  And then finally accepting her as she is, special and different from the others, not bowing to peer pressure, slightly odd but 100% confident in who she is.

Today I went to a homeschooling playdate, not expecting anything but a nice bunch of people with small children and too much time on their hands (sorry ladies, really!), and instead found a dynamic group of engaged, caring, educated parents who want the best for the children, even when (or especially when) those children don't fit into the pigeon-holes assigned them by the traditional education system.

I'm almost embarrassed to try to find a diagnosis for Ryan at this point.  She really is just fine the way she is.  But, in reading further about Asperger's Syndrome in girls, I feel it might help her understand herself better for the future.

Should the educators and psychologists in Germany have seen this?  I don't know.  One thought that the obsessive interest in horses was self-defence mechanism due to all of our traveling around the globe.  (Mind you, we had lived in the same home in Altdorf for six years at that point, but whatever!)  Most everyone else just thought she was dreamy and unfocused.  ADD I kept saying.  But no, she wasn't enough of a disruption in class for that.  But it's different in girls, I kept saying.  Dreamy and unfocused.  But the literature I found was all in English.  Noone ever mentioned Asperger's until today.

And honestly, what are the Germans going to do with a special needs kid anyway?

(She still has problems speaking to anyone, especially her peers, about anything but horses.  Adults love her.  Older girls adore her.  Her riding instructors were flummoxed when I told them she wasn't a straight 'A' student; she is that focused and that good with the horses.  Has she been modeling her behaviour on mine?  Getting by with a socially strong parent?  Girls tend to be able to mask their social awkwardness by staying quiet.  And she did have that one caring, socially competent friend - Celin - in Germany.  Everything fits.)

Ryan now has her horses and her art and her flute.  She IS just fine the way she is.  I don't know that I need or want a label for her.

I do see her in these articles I found online though.

And there is the documentation I didn't even know I was keeping all along in my blogs.  Skip straight to Third-Grade-Math Part Four for the shortened read...

My daughter is different.  She is special.  And it doesn't matter what - or if - there is a diagnosis in the end.

My daughter is the child the fairies sent me.


  1. God had given you a great gift in Ryan (your other children). Accept her and her gifts and you will be blessed beyond measure. And you'll end up learning more than you ever imagined. I know, I have been through it meself. :) Homeschooling has a way of showing me how much I DON'T know.

  2. This was the question I wanted to ask. What do you need a diagnosis for, when you are willing to accept her and nourish her as best you can? There can be nothing better for her.

  3. Absolutely right, both of you. And Claire...this is terrible, but at this point there are FINANCIAL considerations I found out about. Love the Aussies...they will subsidise you if you are homeschooling a 'special needs' child that is unable to attend school for emotional reasons...a bit lame but the schools get 20,000 a year for them with a diagnosis, we'd get about 3,500....would certainly help with all those extra art and flute and horse riding lessons! I agree though, that at this point, we are already doing what the specialist would suggest...sticking to her strengths, encouraging the arts and horses, and homeschooling - she is reading better, doing maths, everything is coming together with the homeschooling. Really scary when you think that these kids don't do well in traditional schools and Germany doesn't allow for hoemschooling alternatives for them! What a waste for these poor children and parents! But....parents of kids who HAVE been diagnosed also tell me it is important as she enteres her teen years because that is when the social aspects become really damaging...I don't see it yet, she has her horses and is getting into such a horse crowd that I think it will be fine, but...yeah, it is to understand herself better even as an adult...have joined some groups with adults with ASD as well and it is really amazing the world that is opening up to us as a result of this....diagnosed or not, it is an incredible world. So...diagnosis for understanding...and maybe a little financial help for the classses!!!!